September 23, 1972 - Asheville, North Carolina.
Jermaine Dupri is the son of a concert promoter and musical manager. Consequently, he was introduced to the music business at a very early age. Dupri performed as a dancer for top level r&b acts like Diana Ross and Cameo before producing his first record by the vocal trio Silk Tymes Leather. Jermaine Dupri was only 14.
Jermaine Dupri Discovers Kriss Kross:
A little over 4 years after his first production project, while still a teenager, Jermaine Dupri discovered the pair of 13-year-olds known as Kris Kross performing in an Atlanta mall. He helped the duo get signed to a recording contract and produced their first album Totally Krossed Out. Released in 1992, the album ended up a quadruple platinum seller. The first single, the #1 hit "Jump," was one of the fastest selling singles in the history of the pop charts.
Quote From Jermaine Dupri:
Asked about his favorite artist by Car Audio Magazine:
"Usher is by far the best artist in the studio, because he listens and gives very good input.
So So Def Productions:
Before his first multi-platinum success with Kriss Kross, Jermaine Dupri formed his own production company and record label, So So Def. Dupri's label has become one of the most successful in r&b and hip hop. The label was originally distributed through Sony Entertainment. When Jermaine Dupri was hired as President of Arista Black Music in 2003, So So Def went with him. A shift to Executive Vice President of Urban Music at Virgin in 2004 necessitated another move.
Top Jermaine Dupri Productions:
- 1992 - Kriss Kross: Totally Krossed Out
- 1992 - TLC: Oooooohhhh...On the TLC Tip
- 1994 - Da Brat: Funkdafied
- 1995 - Mariah Carey: "Always Be My Baby" from Daydream
- 1996 - Aaliyah: One in a Million
- 1997 - Usher: My Way
- 2000 - Jagged Edge: J.E. Heartbreak
- 2000 - Lil' Bow Wow: Beware of Dog
- 2004 - Usher: Confessions
- 2005 - Mariah Carey: The Emancipation of Mimi
- 2005 - Chris Brown: Remix of "Run It!" from Chris Brown
- 2006 - Dem Franchize Boyz: On Top of Our Game
Trivia Fact About Jermaine Dupri:
Jermaine Dupri's father's name is Michael Mauldin. Jermaine took his mother's maiden name as his surname in his teenage years.
Usher was already a teenage star when Jermaine Dupri signed on to help produce his seond album My Way. The album was released in 1997 and became a top 5 smash. 7 years later Jermaine Dupri helped Usher take the next step to a #1 album with Confessions. Dupri produced the #1 singles "Burn" and "Confessions, Pt. 2."
Jermaine Dupri first worked with Mariah Carey on her hit single "Always Be My Baby" from the 1995 album Daydream. Although Carey's career took a downward turn, Jermaine Dupri continued to lend his skills to her albums including the dismal 2002 album Charmbracelet. The perseverance of both paid off with the massive success of 2005's The Emancipation of Mimi. Jermaine Dupri was one of a small army of contributors to the #1 smash single "We Belong Together."
The Future for Jermaine Dupri:
When Jermaine Dupri was signed as an executive for Virgin Records' urban division in 2004, many music business experts questioned the wisdom of his move. Virgin Records has not been known as a hotbed of urban music creativity. Some claimed that the primary reason he moved to Virgin was because it is the record label that owns the contract for Dupri's girlfriend, Janet Jackson. However, it did not take long for Dupri to generate hits in his new position.
Atlanta hip hop group Dem Franchize Boyz were one of Jermaine Dupri's first new signings at Virgin. They scored a significant hit with the single "I Think They Like Me" that included cameo appearances from Dupri and his proteges Bow Wow and Da Brat. Dem Franchize Boyz' followup hit "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" was even bigger.
Jermaine Dupri's first serious test as a hitmaker at Virgin will come with the release of Janet Jackson's album 20 Years Old set for the summer of 2006. Dupri is collaborating with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on the project.